Although gaming and esports are generally seen as a “boy activity”, it’s always a welcoming sight to witness female gamers joining in the fun for fame and glory. The current wave of PUBG Mobile all-girl teams is led by Powerpuff Girls (or simply PPG), who are currently competing in the PUBG Mobile Professional League Malaysia/Singapore (PMPL MY/SG) Season 2 after placing third in the Singaporean qualifiers.

Here are the fierce females that represent PPG:

To clarify, the pictures of Babybel and Daisy have been swapped mistakenly here.

“We feel honoured and overwhelmed to be the first ever all-female team to join PMPL MY/SG,” said scout Daisy, on behalf of the team. “To be honest, it still feels like a dream that we are competing with these full-time and experienced top players from Malaysia and Singapore.”

It’s expected that every team faces their own difficulties and challenges, but as an all-girls squad, the stakes are a little different for PPG. “As ladies, we want to prove that if we put our passion and mind into it, our gameplay and game sense can be as good as any other player out there,” Daisy confessed.

For the past year PPG have been together, the Malaysian-Singaporean hybrid group has been competing in multiple tournaments prior to PMPL MY/SG Season 2. They achieved top 5 spots in most of the online female-focused tournaments they participated in, and their first offline success was bagging second place in the Axis Ladies Tournament 2019. It’s no wonder they stood by each other for almost a year with zero roster changes. 

Placing second in the Axis Ladies Tournament last year is no small feat.

Despite their competence, they had low expectations entering the Singaporean qualifiers of this season’s PMPL MY/SG, especially when they didn’t have a coach at the time. Fortunately right in the nick of time, their newly-joined coach Juggernaut managed to give them a crash course on refining their rotation and gameplay a day before match day, whilst improving intercommunication between the girls - they eventually reaped the sweet fruits of their labour and qualified for Regular Season. “After the qualifiers, we feel that as long as we put our mind into it and improve, we could do anything,” the scout player expressed.

True to her words, Daisy’s team has been training intensely with evening and midnight scrims, playing Classic together to improve chemistry, and adapting to the new point system. The latter also involves Juggernaut analysing the meta and coming up with the best strategies for PPG to maximise their point profits. “He has always motivated us to always have a positive mindset and keep trying, regardless of the outcome or challenge,” Daisy said. During their breaks, they enjoy spending time with family and friends, and recharge their batteries by resting and recuperating.

Coach Juggernaut joined PPG right before their Singaporean qualifiers, and has been of great help to the team.

PPG have come a long way since their formation a year ago, with Babybel, Daisy and captain Puteri as the founders. “The idea of an all-female team conquering the esports scene intrigued us, which is why we decided to start our own ladies team and slowly climb up the ladder,” recalled Daisy. It took a while to complete the team and reach a certain level of consistency, with members scattered throughout Malaysia and Singapore and resorting to online communication, not to mention that they were selective in handpicking players so that each of them complements each other well.

However, we’re all human beings, and conflicts would occasionally arise between the ladies. It’s a big challenge for the PPG team captain, a role that Puteri took up when no one else would. “We’ve been through a lot to get here, so in the event of any misunderstanding, I will always try my best to resolve the matter and make sure everyone is on the same page and remain on good terms,” she said.

PPG had a good start in Week 1 of PMPL MY/SG S2 by cooking up two Winner Winner Chicken Dinners.

The familial bond is strong between its members, including Juggernaut and manager Ken Lu. “I feel honoured to be the manager of a professional all-female team like PPG,” Ken opened up, saying that he likes their synergy, understanding and respect for everyone in the squad. “I appreciate them for the opportunity to learn what is the true meaning of ‘girl power’”.

Be sure to follow Powerpuff Girls on Facebook for more updates on the team. Catch them in action in the final week of PMPL MY/SG S2 on PUBG Mobile FB from today (11 September) until Sunday (13 September).

The senior programmer of Gameka had a brief stint as a League of Legends esports player before conjuring up video game worlds.

To celebrate women who have contributed to the growth of esports and gaming in Southeast Asia, this series of profiles aim to tell the story of five women who have made a positive impact in their respective fields.

It’s not uncommon for the video games industry to be repeatedly labelled as “male-dominated” across the board, implying that females in the gaming scene are always mistreated. But, like the concept of yin-yang, there’s both good and bad in every aspect of this great big universe. And the same goes for the gaming world - although our previous Women in Gaming articles gave a glimpse of its darker sides, it’s not all grim and glum for women with gaming professions. One such woman who has been fortunate enough to be on the lighter side of the industry is Joanna Khoo, who was briefly in the esports scene before moving on to game development.

Nothing is binary

“I haven’t experienced any blatant discrimination or anything like that, so it’s actually been okay for me so far,” said Joanna “Orangeroo” Khoo Sook Wing. It’s a breath of fresh air knowing that, because it’s a testament that women who embark on video game-related careers aren’t necessarily doomed to be mistreated. Even so, she doesn’t deny that there are women in gaming professions who face such injustice from their peers.

Related: MLBB esports player, Qiann is more than just the only female player of MPL-MY/SG Season 5.

Joanna and the women of Gameka at a game development meet-up by WiGout.

“I’m glad that the culture in my company (Gameka) has been pretty good,” the Malaysian said. “So, in a way, I’m protected from such issues.” With the local game and app development company instilling such a positive culture, it’s no wonder that Joanna was drawn to Gameka in the first place. When her interest in game development was still, well, developing, she was merely a “stalker” of Gameka on social media. “I was curious about game companies in the country and wanted to support their page by giving them a ‘like’,” she recalled, working as a senior software developer at the time. When she decided to join the company, she reached out to a friend who was coincidentally working there. After he recommended her to give it a shot, she went to check out the workplace environment. “I liked the vibe of the office and the people, which is why I decided to join.”

As a senior programmer at the Malaysian game and app development company, Joanna has two separate job scopes for her two-worded job title: the “programmer” side, which requires her coding in game features (article); and the “senior” aspect - teaching younger programmers and staying in-the-know of the latest toolkits in game coding to improve the company’s resources. Joanna was also in charge of audio design (creating sound effects), music composition and audio implementation (coding sound into the game) for the games they create, which she’s more than happy to do due to her interest in making music with friends. It’s a pretty dynamic role that Joanna has taken upon, especially when audio and programming require very different mindsets.

Related: Your guide to the ins and outs of game development.

Joanna started her side job on game audio with Combat Wombat.

“I like the logic of coding, because it’s like solving puzzles,” she explained. “Plus, you have the ability to create anything on a blank slate.” On the other hand, audio is a lot about expression and creativity for her, requiring her to think outside the box to execute it well. “You can create sound out of anything, literally.”

Developing a career or two

Believe it not, Joanna was fascinated by the science of programming as early as her primary school years, after stumbling upon a software to self-learn the craft. “I’ve always loved games since I was a kid,” she recollected, gaming since the days of Pac Man and floppy discs. A fan of tactical shooters such as Rainbow Six, the then-aspiring programmer got hooked onto League of Legends during her formative years in college, even entering the esports scene briefly as a competitive player in 2011. She proceeded to participate in various Garena tournaments and even placed top 10 in the 2011 World Cyber Games with her team.

Joanna wasn't joking when she said "you can create sound out of anything", at the Sepang International Circuit for a secret project.

“It was fun! I enjoyed the camaraderie and the dynamic of working together with my teammates,” Joanna reminisced with a smile. Back then, she and her friends were juggling their daytime jobs and nighttime scrimming with other teams from overseas to keep their passion afloat. After playing for roughly two years, “I got a little burnt out because training and working at the same time was getting too much, not to mention that tournaments were slowly tapering off.” Even though there were other esports-related roles she could’ve explored (such as a coach or an analyst), she’s happy with her role as a game developer.

Take a walk on the bright side

“Game programming is a mix of what I love, which are coding and gaming,” the Animal Crossing: New Horizons fan said. “It’s a combination of what I like, what I’m good at, and what I can make money with.” Besides that, Joanna relishes the fact that even though the local gaming industry is still young, it has a positive culture of sharing knowledge between each other without being secretive or overly-competitive. “It’s a really good mindset for the community to have, and it’s something I appreciate a lot about the industry.” And what habit does she think that future game developers should adopt to do well in the industry?

Showcasing Gameka's game, Combat Wombat, at Level Up KL 2019.

“Work hard to be good at your craft,” Joanna advised, saying that joining game development communities and meet-ups would be extremely beneficial in learning the ins and outs of game development. These include hackathons - such as Game Jams, where you and your team have to create a functioning game in two days - and club meet-ups by WiGout (for women) and the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Malaysia. “These are good ways for you to gain exposure in making games.”

All smiles at the Unite Singapore 2019, a Unity Creators Conference.


MissRose Gaming: Wife, mother, gamer

Monica - M: 18-year-old streamer rallies for equality among gamers

Sabrina Zainal: Hustling to be a safe space for viewers

The Malaysian gamer values the importance of being a responsible streamer and hopes to build a healthy gaming environment for everyone.

To celebrate women who have contributed to the growth of esports and gaming in Southeast Asia, this series of profiles aim to tell the story of five women who have made a positive impact in their respective fields.

We humans tend to thrive better when we have social bonds with people we trust. Whether it’s society, a loving relationship with your significant other, or even a community of video game streamers, that warm and fuzzy feeling we adore is there when we’re relishing in our shared connection. It’s an emotion that Facebook Gaming Creator, Sabrina Zainal, hopes to replicate in her video game streams for fans.

Building bridges

“I started live streaming because I like talking to people,” said Sabrina, who formally goes by Wan Khairunnisa Nur Sabrina, adding that she wants to create a safe space for her viewers to be themselves. “Sometimes people are more comfortable sharing their personal problems with strangers, which is a concept I understand." That’s why she chose PUBG Mobile as her regular streaming game, saying that “it’s one of the simplest games to play so I can chat with my fans”, due to quiet periods in the game where she can relax and focus on interacting with her viewers.

Despite streaming the mobile battle royale game, Sabrina (not the witch from Netflix) cites an entirely different type of game as “the most impactful game” for her: Minecraft. Not only is it a personal favourite of hers, but it’s also the game that helped her put one foot in the gaming world. It’s fitting that the Mojang game is one that’s focused on building, as it built the metaphorical bridge that connected the Perak native with a community of Malaysian gamers (Nerd Gaming Malaysia), kickstarting her streaming career.

“It’s one of the most relatable groups of gamers I’ve ever been with,” she opined, saying that she pretty much grew up in the industry with her peers. But, having joined the gamer band in 2015, she was live streaming on other platforms with her streamer friends before trying out Facebook Gaming during its infancy stage in 2017. “We only streamed for fun back then,” but now, a lot of modern streamers are competitive, which Sabrina thought can be put to good use. “If you’re passionate about it, you would want to hustle for your channel,” suggesting that one would know when to improve themselves whenever their viewership dips.

Red Dead Redemption

Despite the above, having less viewers doesn’t always mean that the streamer is at fault; sometimes it’s even human mistakes that they unintentionally made, painting a target on their back that attracts people with digital pitchforks. One long day after work, Sabrina was hanging out at fellow streamer/Yoodo Gank player ManParang’s live stream when things got a little tense. She was asked for the upteenth time to gift a fan premium PUBG Mobile in-game currency in the comments - which has happened to her countless times via spam calls and messages (both phone and social media) that she “even hired a personal assistant solely to handle them” - that she accidentally snapped at her fan, causing a rift between her and other fans who have been berating her ever since.

“I was so tired it didn’t feel like me at the time”, Sabrina recalled, admitting that she felt guilty for leaving it in that state. “So, I made a public apology to be a good example for my followers, although people still took it the wrong way.” She also iterated that viewers shouldn’t berate streamers by repeatedly asking them for gifts, and to be more considerate of the streamer’s well-being. Notwithstanding the incident, the Ampang resident is grateful for the lessons she has learned from it to be a better person and influencer. “Mistakes make you wiser and more grateful.”

We are the world

It’s an issue that could’ve happened to entertainers of any gender, but streaming for the ladies may bring about different obstacles compared to their male counterpart. “We’re no strangers to sexism, stereotyping and inequality, not to mention that being compared to other female streamers doesn’t make us feel good,” although Sabrina acknowledges that guys would face the same thing time to time.

The Malaysian gamer copes with such occurrences by focusing on the brighter side. “If I see any toxicity, I ignore them and remind myself that I can’t please everyone. The number of haters you'd have is a vocal minority anyway,” picking off her own personal book of coping mechanisms by also mentioning to enjoy one’s own leisure time after-stream and confide in your circle of streamer friends to help with one's feelings. However, it’s not something that should merely be tolerated - similar to harassment and generalisation - and should instead be changed for the better, which is achievable.

To start things off, it’s vital for every streamer to have a good mindset and be self-aware (“the older I get, the more careful I am about what I post online”), so they can set good examples for their viewers and pass along the right thought process. “Streaming is one way to build a community; if you built a community, they’ll probably follow your mindset.” If viewers are positively affected, they’ll even defend other streamers when they’re getting harassed.” She believes that we have a chance to improve things, as the industry is still growing.

But for now, girls need to be aware that even though the gaming community is dominated by males, it doesn’t mean they’re excluded. “There are a lot of other female streamers out there, so you’re not alone. Just have the right mindset and be strong, then you’re ready to be a streamer.”

Looking for a place to be yourself? Join the get-together in Sabrina Zainal's live streams on Facebook Gaming every day, at 9AM - 3PM (+8 GMT).

The university student/streamer from Myanmar shot to sudden stardom mere months after her debut.

To celebrate women who have contributed to the growth of esports and gaming in Southeast Asia, this series of profiles aim to tell the story of five women who have made a positive impact in their respective fields.

We create happiness in our own different ways.

Monica - M

That was a line that stood out to the writer in the midst of his chat with Myanma Facebook Gaming Creator, Monica - M (or simply Monica), who was beaming the entire time during the video interview. She recently celebrated her milestone of amassing 200k followers on her Facebook page since she started streaming video games in October last year. Having interviewed Monica, it’s easy to see how she got her quick ascent to streamer stardom.

Giggling and chatting away like old friends from the get-go, it was easy to warm up to Myayoon “Monica” SanMee Ko Ko. Having graduated from high school just last year, making her success all the more admirable. She attributed it to her streaming frequently and interacting with her fans a lot - this is to the point that she even plays Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) with them. “Their support means a lot to me,” the 18-year-old said, referencing the times her devoted fans made tribute videos of her as one of her proudest moments as a streamer. “I’m very thankful to all my fans for helping me reach this milestone.”

Getting the support she needs

As one can tell by now, her fan base is of paramount priority to the university student. With a love for video games since young, “I’ve always liked to play games with other people, which is why I enjoy streaming.” Even though Monica has gamed alone before, she admits that it can get lonely not speaking to anyone. But by streaming, not only does she have a circle of fans she can bond with over gaming sessions, she even gets free lessons in sharpening her MLBB skills. “My viewers are usually better at the game than I am, so they’ve given me a lot of advice and strategies for MLBB - they’re like my teachers.”

With so much support from her fans, one wonders if the same applies to her family as well. According to Monica, when she asked her parents for permission to try out streaming during high school, they were hesitant about it. “They felt that I still had a lot to learn, and that streaming might not be a good career. Plus, I haven’t passed my final exams yet.” Fortunately, they found a compromise: Monica promised to pass her final exams first and to perform well in her tertiary studies while pursuing her endeavour. Needles to say, the opportunity her parents gave her has paid off beautifully.

A double life

Juggling her studies and streaming schedule can be tricky, akin to adults working a full-time job and a part-time one after work. But for the girl with a sunny disposition, all that matters is that balancing the two is possible. Monica admits it can be hard to prioritise between them, but “all you have to do is manage your schedule carefully. If you do the right things during the right times, then it’ll be okay.” She added with a finality, “I can do it.”

This gamer packs a punch when it comes to her determination to be an international streamer. But, is it a career that’s a cup of tea for interested individuals? “Anyone can pursue streaming,” Monica said without hesitation. “As long as you stream consistently and interact with your fans a lot, then you can do it.” Streaming, in its essence, is entertaining your audience, and if you don’t talk to your viewers, they wouldn’t be happy. “It’s important to not only play your games well, but also care about your supporters.” They are, after all, the reason why popular streamers got to where they are today.

Be the bigger woman

Alas, not all who watch Monica’s streams are as friendly as her troupe. Being a female streamer also brings its own set of challenges that male counterparts are less likely to face, most notably the inappropriate harassment they face online. “I can get uncomfortable by those, but I can handle it,” Monica said, adding that usually only a few of these bad apples appear at a time, not to mention that she has the support of her legion of fans to drown out the haters. “We can’t control how people think of us, but we can control our own mind. For me, I’ll focus on the ones who support me and ignore the haters.” The Yangon native even filters through their comments to see if there’s any useful advice to take note of. “We create happiness in our own different ways.”

For every ill intention, there are motives behind such malicious actions. Monica believes that a portion of the community generalise female streamers as attention seekers who flaunt their good looks, lacking the skills to be bona fide streamers. “It would be nice if people don’t judge streamers by their gender,” she said, adding that this mindset is toxic. “Negative thoughts do nothing to help anyone. Instead, we should be helping each other out to build a friendly and healthy community.” Monica believes that the solution to this age-old problem in gaming, lies in educating one another on how to fairly perceive women in gaming and raising awareness on the capabilities of female gamers.

On an utterly non-serious note, Monica confesses that she has just the right skillset to be a capable MLBB player in the world of streaming. Reflecting on some of her embarrassing moments in-stream, there were a few times when she was playing with her fans and died a lot in-game “to the point that I wanted to end the stream, I wanted to show that I can play well too.” Although her fans teased her for the many mistakes she made, Monica didn’t mind, aware that it’s all in good fun. “I even compiled these moments and put them in my funny highlights videos,” she said giddily. “I can be quite hot-tempered when playing, which my fans are amused by.”

Goes to show that there are many ways to entertain viewers other than sick gameplay - if you’re a budding game streamer, it’s vital to find your own voice so that you’ll stand out from the crowd. “Find out what are your direction and goals,” Monica said. “Don’t be afraid of the challenges you’ll face, and instead focus on achieving them. But, don’t forget to do the things that make you happy too.”

Want to hang out with Monica - M? Check out her almost-daily streams on Facebook.

Lovely as a rose and welcoming as spring, MissRose possesses sturdy thorns that held off naysayers and spreads the love.

To celebrate women who have contributed to the growth of esports and gaming in Southeast Asia, this series of profiles aim to tell the story of five women who have made a positive impact in their respective fields.

We’ve come a long way as a society. With most outdated ideologies out of the way, our unhindered progress towards bettering our community has been fruitful. But, old habits tend to die hard, and the cultures that have been ingrained by our ancestors is hard to shake off, despite modern sensibilities. Even so, Malaysian Facebook Gaming Creator, MissRose chose to carve her own destiny that deviates from the norm - in between fulfilling her roles as mother and wife, she streams video games for a living to make ends meet and founded a PUBG Mobile esports team, MissRose Esports Syndicate, who is currently competing in this year’s PUBG Mobile Professional League Malaysia/Singapore (PMPL MY/SG 2020).

“I believe in helping my husband instead of being dependent on him,” Roslinda “MissRose” binti Embran said, in a manner that reflects her headstrong yet demure demeanour. “It’s better for us to have extra cash in case of emergencies too.” A mother of six, family has always been at the top of her priority in everything she sets out to do, and her career choice in streaming is no exception.

On top of her 136,000 followers on the MissRose Gaming page, her family has been extremely supportive of her streaming career, “even my mother - who is my Top Fan - watches my streams and sends me Stars.” She was introduced to streaming by her brother-in-law, who is also a fellow Facebook Gaming streamer, Fattahzie. “He said that since I’m already playing mobile games, I might as well make full use of it and stream to have more income,” she recalled.

A flower blooms

It’s hard to believe that MissRose actually had no prior experience in gaming, especially when she has to both game and interact with her fans as a streamer - she started playing PUBG Mobile seriously only five months before her first livestream. The Sabah-born streamer actually first heard of the battle royale game via her husband, having noticed him playing PUBG Mobile frequently, piquing her curiosity about the mobile game. “I felt dizzy just trying to look at how he played,” she said, amused at the memory.

That’s not the case anymore, of course. What’s impressive about MissRose, was that despite having little understanding, she was so intrigued by the game that she learned it herself by playing it... repeatedly. That’s dedication right there, and there’s more to the story. The family woman attributed her mastery of the game to Good Samaritan players online. “I’m lucky to have met really nice random friends that taught me to play the game better,” she added beamingly, unlike some of us who are usually in groups of solo jumpers. But, fans would be definitely glad that their favourite streamer was in good hands, otherwise she might’ve not continued this career path.

“Entertaining my viewers and supporters is my number one priority,” said MissRose, explaining that her fan base matters more than her gameplay. Thus, she pretty much only plays PUBG Mobile in-stream. “I tried out Call of Duty: Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, but they felt too complicated for me,” said the newly-converted gamer. Not that it mattered what games she played, because she’s “close with her viewers”, to the point that they defend her whenever there is any negativity directed towards her. And on the Internet, there’s no shortage of bad apples looking to poke the beehive.

Where is the love?

As reported in the news, MissRose was harassed by a number of conservatives for her streaming endeavour, often being “told to go back to the kitchen.” Despite being ambushed with said backlash, she didn’t feel disheartened or discouraged. On the contrary, she actually felt happy that it happened. “It’s publicity, which is good for me,” MissRose said, explaining that she's glad her exposure on the Internet has led to many fellow content creators messaging her to ask for help, especially in regards to playing PUBG Mobile. As someone who can relate to knowing little about the industry when she started out, she was more than happy to help out fellow newcomers.

On how she handled the situation at the time, she acknowledged their perception of her: a woman who’s foregoing her duties as a parent/partner by gaming online. “I always calmly explain to them about my schedule, how I utilise my off-stream time to take care of my family,” she recollected. If they fail to accept her decision and continue to pester her, she’ll just ban them from her page. “There’s no point reasoning with them when you’ve tried your best to do so.” Fortunately, the toxicity didn’t last forever and she stopped receiving such comments altogether, save for the occasional perverse messages from strangers who knew little of respect.

Say "No" to a dystopian future

Such incidences give a glimpse into what female gamers face online, sometimes on a daily basis. In a society that’s slowly accepting equality as the new norm (especially in the gaming world), it’s much more feasible now to encourage a safe space for females to pursue their career in gaming, and MissRose has a few ideas on how we can pull it off. Most notably, “respecting each other” is an essential mindset that can discourage negative behaviour towards "girl gamers," so as to “not underestimate the opposite gender.” “We can host friendly game matches (such as PUBG Mobile) between female and male gamers, all in good fun,” she suggested, adding that male streamers can also collaborate with female streamers to teach each other and improve their gameplay.

Slowly but surely, aspiring female streamers would have a positive environment for them to cultivate their game-related dreams. So, what should they know to take their career off to new heights? “Have your own personality and stick to it,” MissRose advised. “You can take inspiration from other streamers, but don’t copy.” The simple act of streaming consistently does wonders as well - she was streaming three times a day when she first started out, which drastically boosted her viewership as she gained recognition. Now, she streams once daily. “Also, create content that’s interesting and positive. It’s important to dress and act decently.”

Come feel and spread the love with MissRose during her daily streams on Facebook.

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